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Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp. If more information or the text of this Lesson is desired, please see the Director’s Note at the end. The citations referenced in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world.

Discover God as your best friend & sole source of joy!
Lesson Application Ideas on “God” (Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson for January 1, 2006)
by Julie Ward, C.S. (Westwood, Massachusetts).

GOLDEN TEXT – The magnificent greatness of God – unsearchable, immeasurable, irresistible! Watch for the word “great” as you study this lesson.

RESPONSIVE READING – Jeremiah recognizes the greatness of God, and receives His covenant promise: “And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” And there’s more. Look for the promises that follow in the Responsive Reading, and see if you can find examples of how these promises are kept in the body of the lesson. And don’t forget that this “everlasting covenant” includes you, and that God will not turn away from you.

SECTION I – “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”
Do we bless the Lord in all that we do? Are we constantly expanding our sense of His allness and His glory? The definition of “GOD” from our Glossary (S&H 1) is a very good thing for us all to memorize. Who could be better to trust with all our decisions than “the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal”? And our daily work with the seven synonyms opens up our understanding of God as nothing else can. You might try asking yourself what each one of these synonyms is doing today. For instance, What is Truth doing today? It’s uncovering, revealing, stirring, awakening, correcting. What is Love doing today? It’s embracing, supporting, comforting, nourishing, teaching. You’ll think of many others.

You can also ask yourself questions about the nature of infinite Love based on (S&H 5). For instance, what is the depth of infinite Love? It’s deeper than any human emotion, deeper than any deep-seated hatred or fear. What is the breadth of infinite Love? It’s broad enough to include everyone, everywhere, in its healing power. Have fun learning more of the height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love. And remember that, “That is enough!” It’s not a question of whether we’re personally good enough, smart enough, or prayed-up enough. Love is All, and Love fills all space. THAT’S enough!

SECTION II – “…Thou hast begun to show thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand:…”
God is not just mighty, but ALMIGHTY.  There is no other power or strength. God commanded Joshua to have each of the twelve tribes of Israel bring a stone to be held for a memorial in Gilgal. These were to remind the coming generations that God had parted the waters of the river Jordan and of the Red Sea so that the Children of Israel passed over on dry land, “that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty.” (B 6) It’s a good thing for us all to look back and remember the times that God has saved us. Our written and oral testimonies are like our “twelve stones.” They’ll encourage us all at times when the going is rough.

Mrs. Eddy reminds us “From beginning to end, the Scriptures are full of the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over matter.” (S&H 6) Moses, Joshua, Elijah, and Elisha were just a few of the Bible characters who demonstrated the Almighty power of God. Can you think of others? Do you include your own triumphs in this list? After all, we’re the continuation of the Bible.

And here is the whole lesson in one simple statement: “God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power.” (S&H 10) Amen and amen!

SECTION III – “God is our refuge and strength…”
When Goliath challenged the Israelites to send him one man to fight with him, the Israelites were overwhelmed by his sheer size. He arrogantly boasted that no one had ever beaten him. Have you ever faced a Goliath of a problem? It could be a crushing debt, a huge workload, an overwhelming passion, or even a disease that calls itself incurable. When we’re faced with such a Goliath, do we, like David, RUN out to meet it? What are our “five smooth stones”? Goliath came to David with the conventional weapons of his day – a sword, a spear, and a shield. But David refused to fight him on his own terms. He had a more effective plan. He said, “I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” To come in the name of the Lord of hosts was to align oneself with infinite power. We can say that to whatever problem assails us – “I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts.” And, like David, we can add, “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand.” David had absolute confidence in the ability of Almighty God, so he didn’t have to worry about his own ability.

Every citation in this section of Science and Health has at least one rule for healing. How many can you find? More important, how many can you obey? This one (S&H 12) is especially good for us as we run out to meet our own Goliaths: “The more difficult SEEMS the material condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love.” Strong faith, pure love, calm trust – what other “David” qualities can you find in this section?

SECTION IV – “He spake, and it was done…”
When God speaks, the communication is always complete, understandable, and effective. There’s no gap between the Word of God and its fulfillment. “He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (B 11) This section is linked to the previous section by the prophecy from Isaiah, “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” (B 13) Jesse was David’s father, and Jesus was born into the family of David. There’s a lovely continuity between the “David” qualities that we saw in the last section and the qualities that Christ Jesus embodied. In (B 15), Jesus is seen teaching the people what the kingdom of God is like. His analogy is simple and beautiful and crystal-clear. The tiny grain of mustard seed, when cast into the garden, becomes a great tree where the fowls of the air can live. It’s as if he’s telling the people that even the smallest recognition of Truth will take root and grow more useful and beautiful every single day.

Mrs. Eddy calls Jesus “the great Teacher.”(S&H 17) Interestingly, she also calls him a student (S&H 16). “As a divine student, he unfolded God to man, illustrating and demonstrating Life and Truth in himself and by his power over the sick and the sinning.” If we are teaching others, do we think of ourselves first as “divine students”/ Are we demonstrating what we teach in our own lives? “The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man.” Not from man to God, and not from man to man. When we think we’re having a communication problem, this is a very good thing to remember. Since there’s no gap between God and His idea, man, there’s no place for the message to be lost or garbled. “Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent.” (S&H 19) If we find ourselves straining to hear the message, our first job is to silence the material senses. Then “the language of Spirit” comes through loud and clear. “Spirit imparts the understanding which leads into all truth.” (S&H 20) That understanding is here for everyone. It will come to each of us through the Christ.

Section V – “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things…”
When Jesus’ disciples brought to him a man who was born blind, they asked, “Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (B 19) In a sense, the disciples had been blinded, too. They were starting with the problem as if it were real, and then trying to justify it. That’s like asking whose fault it is that 2+2=5. There’s no answer to that question, because it’s based on a false premise. Sometimes we get tricked into that sort of false reasoning when we start with a problem and try to figure out what caused it. It doesn’t have a cause, because God, the great and only Cause, can only cause that which is like Himself – good, useful, progressive, and pure. What was it that brought about the healing of the man who was born blind? Was there some special ingredient in the clay? No! “God, Spirit, works spiritually, not materially.” (S&H 21) So why do you think that Jesus anointed the man’s eyes with clay? By spitting on the ground, did he show his contempt for the belief that man was formed from the dust of the ground? He sent the man to wash in the pool of Siloam, “which is by interpretation, Sent.” As he washed away the aimless randomness of the “dust man,” the man could see clearly what he was SENT to do. After he “washed, and came seeing,” the people who had known him as a blind beggar asked him, “How were thine eyes opened?” His answer is a perfect testimony, ending with this essential conclusion: “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” God is the ONLY healer. It’s never personal.

“The world of error is ignorant of the world of Truth, – blind to the reality of man’s existence, – for the world of sensation is not cognizant of life in Soul, not in body.” (S&H 22) In a sense, then, every healing is a healing of blindness. If we’ve been “blind to the reality of man’s existence,” the Christ will open our eyes to the reality of our being. We’ll put off the old man, who believes he was born of the dust, and find that “all things are become new.” (B 20 and S&H 25) We’ll know what we were SENT to do – our holy purpose will come into perfect focus.

SECTION VI – “For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!”
Because God is infinite good, there’s nothing more natural – and even inevitable – than the expression of that goodness and beauty. Nothing is withheld, nothing is hidden. He rejoices over us. It is his greatest joy to do good to his children. I once heard someone say, “When we see good expressed, we see God expressed.” Be alert to every expression of good, however small it may seem. When you identify that expression of good with its infinite source – GOD – that good will multiply. You’ll begin to see it in many different ways in your daily experience. Thank God for every expression of good. Ask yourself, what is the “secret beauty and bounty” that is “hidden from the world, but known to God”? (S&H 28) Jesus saw that “secret beauty and bounty,” and so can we. The Christ opens our eyes. “When we learn the way in Christian Science, and recognize man’s spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God’s creation, – all the glories of earth and heaven and man.” (S&H 29) What a wonderful promise for us to claim!

Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms.* Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.) Enjoy!

Warren Huff, Director                   
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